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Pita Taufatofua: GoFundMe set up by Tonga’s Olympic flag bearer raises over $310,000

 | Breaking News Updates

Pita Taufatofua: GoFundMe set up by Tonga’s Olympic flag bearer raises over $310,000

| Business News Today | Yahoo news


Widely known for wearing his oiled chest during the opening ceremonies of the Summer and Winter Olympics, Taufatofua set up a GoFundMe fundraising page, which CNN verified, Monday after the disaster.

According to the GoFundMe page, the funds would go “to those most in need” as well as to repair damaged infrastructure, schools and hospitals.

“As you all know, a large tsunami caused by a volcanic eruption has devastated Tonga… We are looking for your donations to help our island kingdom,” the fundraising page reads. “Your help and support in this time of need is greatly appreciated.”

Describing the eruption as an “unprecedented disaster”, Tongan Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni added that a “volcanic mushroom plume” has spread to cover all of the country’s approximately 170 islands – 36 of which are inhabited – affecting the entire population of more than 100,000 people.

Taekwondo and cross-country skier Taufatofua posted on Instagram on Wednesday that he had not yet heard from his father, the governor of Haapai, who was on the main island of Tongatapu at the time of the eruption. .

Taufatofua, however, added in the post that their family home on Haapai Island is still standing.

“I just learned that our family on the main island of Haapai is safe and our Ha’apai ‘Fuino’ house is still standing! It is over 100 years old and has been through many cyclones and now a tsunami” , Taufatofua wrote.

“Still no word from my father or our family on Kotu and the surrounding lower islands.”

Pita Taufatofua: GoFundMe set up by Tonga’s Olympic flag bearer raises over $310,000

 | Breaking News Updates

olympic hero

Taufatofua represented Tonga in taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and in cross-country skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

What made it viral, however, were the images of him at the 2016 opening ceremony, shirtless, oiled up and wearing a traditional Tongan rug around his waist while waving his country’s flag. In South Korea two years later, braving the cold, Taufatofua did it again.

And at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Taufatofua once again thrilled fans, appearing shirtless and oiled up with the Tonga flag, but with a co-carrier, Malia Maile Paseka, who competed in taekwondo.

Pita Taufatofua: GoFundMe set up by Tonga’s Olympic flag bearer raises over $310,000

 | Breaking News Updates

Taufatofua had trained for taekwondo and tried to qualify for speed kayaking for the 2020 Games, a sport he chose as a nod to his ancestry, as well as for environmental reasons.

“I want to raise awareness about the oceans, our planet and make people realize that what’s happening on our planet is something that we all need to be aware of,” Taufatofua told CNN Sports’ Amanda Davies.
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“I love being on the ocean, being at sea. It’s a sport that excites me. I haven’t learned it yet, but it excites me at the same time.”

However, he failed to qualify in sprint kayaking, meaning he only competed in taekwondo.

Nonetheless, Taufatofua made history by becoming the first person to compete in three consecutive Olympics since the Winter Olympics were introduced in 1924.

In his GoFundMe post, Taufatofua, 38, said he was currently in a “training camp in Australia”.

Pita Taufatofua: GoFundMe set up by Tonga’s Olympic flag bearer raises over $310,000

| Breaking News Updates Yahoo news

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